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Stories of ghosts, haunted houses abound

When I moved here years ago, I knew there was something special about how City celebrates Halloween. The various events, like Trunk or Treat, offer everyone something fun to do when Oct. 31 rolls around. It is usually around this time that my neighbors and friends share the city’s urban legends, alleged ghost sightings and tales of the occult.

Halloween started off as a Christian holiday dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints and martyrs. Pagans claim the holiday’s roots were planted first with them. Regardless of what side of the history books you lean toward, I have come to learn that the rumors of a tie between our city and the occult certainly does exist under the nose of our “clean and green” mantra.

One of the darker occult links is a jailed serial killer, who has questionable ties to the Church of Satan. Investigative attorney-turned-author Matt Dalton’s book “Presumed Guilty: What the Jury Never Knew About Laci Peterson’s Murder and Why Scott Peterson Should Not Be on Death Row” takes a look at a man named Perry Monroe.

Monroe murdered a maid at the former Hacienda Hotel; some of her body parts were found in the pond at Veterans’ Memorial Park. However, it was the body parts that were never found that introduced the possibility of a ritual killing. The murder committed by Monroe had so many similarities to the Laci Peterson case that it prompted further investigation.

I’ve also discovered that, as with anything, if you look hard enough, you will find it. When I looked, I found traces of the occult within the boundaries of our city. Self-published author Scott Beringer’s book “Target Aquarius” covers his experiences with the occult, numerology and his thoughts on evil in the world. Beringer, as he mentions in the book, lived on New Mexico Street for close to a decade.

Beringer uses street numbers and symbols on local buildings as reference points, even clues, for alleged occult activity around our city. Interestingly, the author cited my house and one of the buildings behind it as conduits of energy, among other things.

In researching his claims, I discovered a connection between Boulder City and musician David Bowie. Bowie’s interest in Kabbalah and links to the occult went viral when he died three days after publishing the music video “Lazarus,” which was laced with some of the symbols noted in Beringer’s book.

If you think this reads like a bunch of hocus pocus, visit my blog at TanyaVece.com for the supporting links.

The paranormal, however, doesn’t have to be linked to something sinister. What I love about living here are the different points of view and religious practices that have been woven into the fabric of the community. Several churches offer alternative events to Halloween. And, in spite of our differences, I have found most people have had some sort of veiled experience that reaches beyond explanation.

In some cases, these experiences are shared online. While the intent may be to start a rumor or document an event, interest in the paranormal is good for business. Our city has become a national point of interest for ghost-hunting enthusiasts looking to book a room at a haunted hotel. Websites like www.hauntedplaces.org and www.buzzedvegas.com have created a cultlike interest in staying at the Boulder Dam Hotel based on unproven, yet buzz-generating, posts about encounters with entities.

The television show “Ghost Hunters” paid a visit to Boulder City to investigate an alleged haunting at the old Boulder City Hospital. While what was found is debatable, there is no doubt the interest in what may have been lurking around our city certainly increased the Syfy network’s ratings.

The stories don’t end there, either. Other websites, like www.ghostsofamerica.com, share user accounts of paranormal activity within Boulder City. From doglike beasts running wild before disappearing on Sixth Street, creepy hands without a body touching people in Oasis Park, a demonic white cat that follows people, to apparitions in the windows of historic houses, I have heard all the tales and can say that the interest in ghosts is very much alive among the locals.

The truth, the urban legends and everything in between that can’t be explained does put an extra chill in Boulder City’s October air. So, on Monday, when you’re out trick or treating, remember that sometimes the shiver going up your spine may just be cool air riding the wind … or perhaps it may be something more.

Tanya Vece is an entertainment and music writer who resides and volunteers in Boulder City. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @hollywoodwriter

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